UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Systematic Review of Cholinesterase Inhibitors on Cognition and Behavioral Symptoms in Patients of Chinese Descent with Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, or Mixed Dementia Leung, Ka-Chun; Li, Victor; Ng, Yuey-Zhun; Chan, Tsz-Tai; Chang, Richard S.; Wong, Roger Y.


Cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) are the primary pharmacologic treatment for dementia. Their efficacy in patients of Chinese descent is not well described. We reviewed how ChEIs could affect cognition and behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSD) in Chinese patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), or mixed (AD with vascular component) dementia. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE and CINAHL were systematically searched for controlled trials of ChEIs, including donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine, for Chinese patients with AD, VaD, or mixed dementia. Outcomes for cognition and BPSD were extracted for discussion. Fifty-four studies were identified. While one larger study found that dementia patients of Chinese descent treated with ChEIs had significantly higher mean Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, other studies showed no significant difference. Evidence on BPSD after use of ChEIs was also conflicting. ChEIs may be effective in improving cognition among patients of Chinese descent with dementia. Further studies are needed to examine the possible effects of ChEIs on BPSD in Chinese patients with dementia in view of the small number of studies and limitations in their methodologies.

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